How to Make Laser Printer Toner Last Longer

By Bonnie Conrad, an eHow Contributing Writer

Get more pages out of your toner cartridges.
While laser printers generally provide superior printouts compared to other types of printers, they do so at a price. The cost of replacement toner cartridges takes many laser printer owners by surprise, with some cartridges costing well over a hundred dollars. With so much money on the line, it makes sense for anyone who uses a laser printer for home or business to get as much out of every cartridge as possible.


Compare the stated page yields on remanufactured and name brand toner. While third party and remanufactured toner is generally cheaper, the name brand cartridges could be a better value if they yield more pages.

Clean the area underneath the toner cartridge on a regular basis. Once a week, remove the toner cartridge and set it aside, then use a soft cloth or a small vacuum to clean the area where the cartridge sat. This will remove any paper dust and toner residue that could foul the paper path and cause you to waste paper and toner.

Use the print preview function before sending your documents to the printer. Sometimes the document does not look like you expected it to and if you print the document you waste that paper and the toner. Click on the “File” menu and choose “Print Preview” to see the document exactly as it will appear on the page. This gives you a chance to make any needed changes and avoid wasted effort.

Print in draft mode whenever possible to save on toner costs. To print in draft mode, click the “File” menu and choose “Print,” then click the “Properties” button. Change the DPI setting to a lower value by clicking on the “Print Quality” box.

Remove the toner cartridge from the printer and shake it vigourously, both up and down and from side to side. Shake the cartridge when you see the print beginning to get lighter. This will move the remaining toner powder around and help it last longer. Depending on your printer model and printing volume, you can get anywhere from an extra day to an extra week of printing by shaking down the cartridge.

Use the duplex feature of your printer if it is available. Duplexing prints on both the front and back of each page, helping you save both ink and paper.

Tips & Warnings


University of Delaware: The Print Preview Function

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